I spent my late teens and early twenties participating in "fast fashion." I'm talking about the brands that offer cheap prices and trendy styles. These clothes evenutaly meet their fate in the dark crevices of our closets, only to be worn a handful of times. I grew tired of the lack of longevity that these clothes were getting me and I knew I couldn't stand for the unethical practices that it takes to produce these types of clothes. I dreamt of a well-edited wardrobe of high quality basics that would be made responsibly and with care. Eli & Barry is the perfect vehicle for me to design and create this type of clothing for myself and others to wear. Shopping with Eli & Barry means you're supporting a human being. It means that I get to enjoy the process of creating a garment for you and we, together, can change our relationship with the things we put on our body. I invite you to take a look around my web shop and choose something that you know you'll wear time and time again.
I'm Lily and I'm the one-woman show behind Eli & Barry. I design, pattern draft, make and produce all the clothes that are for sale here in my web-shop. I started my career as a wardrobe stylist and then I eventually learned that my passion was making things. I live in my hometown of Denver, Colorado with my husband and dog.
Eli & Barry was originally a jewelry brand. It became a dream of mine in 2013 when I toured my family's jewelry manufacturing company in Colorado Springs, Colorado. My late grandfather had acquired the company with the hopes that jewelry production would never be outsourced to China. Boy, was he wrong. Many jewelry manufacturers outsource most if not all of their production outside the United States. With that reality weighing on me, I had the idea to start my own company with products made locally. It was a way to honor my grandfather's original vision and create the type of brand that I believe in: one with local and sustainable production. Originally, I introduced a single style of earring, the Greater Than earring. Eventually, I offered more earring styles, all of which were produced in house in the factory in Colorado Springs. In the spring of 2016, I reconnected with my childhood skill of sewing. I took classes, taught myself everything I could and learned pattern drafting. By the fall of 2016, I had pattern drafted my first clothing item: t-shirt 1. I have since learned that clothing making is my true passion and it has become my sole focus. Despite the change in my design medium, my intentions and aesthetic have remained the same: simple pieces delivered in a deliberate and sustainable way. I hope to continue to be involved in the slow fashion movement and explore what it means to be a sustainable and conscious brand.
So where did the name Eli & Barry come from? The name of my late grandfather's small factory that produced my first earring is named Elliott Barry which inspired the name of my own business.